Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In Loving Memory

My grandfather passed away last night. He was 96 years old.

I learned a lot from him.
One of the best things was how to listen.
When I was little and shy among the crowds of relatives,
I'd save up all my words until I got him alone,
him on his chair in the den,
me beside him, holding his hand.
He would tilt his head,
look at the floor and give me all of his attention.
 One of his favorite things to say to this chatterbox was, "Well!"
Whenever he'd near the end of endurance,
he'd offer me a Coffee Nip candy.
The unwrapping and the eating would occupy my attention
and give him an escape route.
I love coffee to this day.

He also taught me practical things like
how to drive a truck, shoot a shotgun, and take a long walk.

All of my kids loved to go and see their Paw-paw and Maw-maw.
As he got more frail
this past year, our visits got shorter.
They all took a turn on his lap, and my oldest
always bent his ear to tell him something important.

Some of those times, I'd hear his quiet laugh,
then that familar

He was so excited when on my birthday this year
my youngest daughter got very close,
and he was able to see her face for the first time.
"I'll remember this for the rest of my life," he said.
He'd been blind for years, you see.
Her face was one of those precious gifts God gives us.

Like He gave me a grandfather who was patient,
loving, and strong,
who lived long enough to love my babies
as much as he ever loved me.

Maybe even a little more.

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